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It must be acknowledged that a territory like the South is worth fighting for. Eight hundred and fifty thousand square miles, as large as Great Britain, France, Austria, Prussia and Spain, with a most productive soil and a most genial climate, whose staple productions none of those great countries can grow; with three thousand miles of coast line, indented with bays and crowded with islands, and its vast centre watered by the Mississippi, into whose bosom are poured thirty-six thousand miles of tributary streams. Let us see what the "goose that laid the golden egg" was doing before the experiment of "cutting it open" was undertaken by the North. The Census of 1850 and the Report of the Secretary of the Treasury for 1857 show that each inhabitant of the South, of all classes, produced $13.30 more than each individual at the North. The average agricultural production at the South was $58 to each person, when, at the North, it was only $44.70. The total agricultural productions for 1850 amounted to one thousand, one hundred and sixty four millions. Of this sum, the North produced, in round numbers, six hundred and four millions, and the South five hundred and sixty millions. Population of the United States for 1850, 23,191,876; gives for average production by each person, $50.20. Population of the North, 13,527,220; each person, $44.70. Population of the South, 9,664,656; each person, $58. If deduct from agricultural products amount exported ($118,750,118), there is left for home consumption $1,045,707,665.--Each person, therefore, consumed $45.08. The North consumed $609,880,612; the South consumed $435,827,053. The North had, therefore, a deficiency, in 1850, of agricultural productions to the value of $6,105,594; the South a surplus of $124,855,712; or each person at the North consumed thirty-eight cents more than he produced; at the South, each person produced $12.90 more than he consumed. What country on the face of the earth, cultivated by free labor, can produce such a record? But the North was, after all, the chief gainer. The immense surplus of the South went into her hands, in exchange for Northern notions. The South paid the great bulk of the revenue, and, by her agricultural industry, built up the commerce and manufactures of the United States. It remains to be seen whether the cultivation of the Southern soil by the sword instead of the plough share will improve Northern prosperity. On the fine territory of the South we had at the beginning of the war a population more than four times as large as that with which the American colonies separated from the mother country, and quite as large as the whole population of the United States was ten years after the conclusion of that war. Our exports were three times as great as those of the whole United States at that period. Our muster rolls exhibited a million of men — of men accustomed to the use of the rifle, and as brave as any race of men on the face of the earth.--The character of the population in general showed a higher tone of morality than could be found in any other country of modern times. In respect for female virtue, in integrity in business transactions, in truth, frankness, simplicity, generosity, and hospitality, no community that ever lived surpassed the South. These are strange results, if slavery be the mother of poverty and crime. Several interesting points are suggested by the facts above. Such an extent of territory--eight hundred and fifty thousand square miles — a vast land of mountain and forest as well as fertile plain, and defended by a million of brave men, can never be subjugated except by the consent of its own people. Its huge dimensions may render it impossible to defend every point, but they render it equally impossible for an enemy to occupy every point with a force sufficient to keep the country in subjection. If we fall, it must be by our own mismanagement, discord and imbecility. Such a land is worth many battles and many sacrifices; not alone for its material wealth, not for the system of slave labor which has produced that wealth, but for the people — the generous, noble people — by whom it is inhabited. It is our land, the land where we were born, the land of our father's graves. We do not believe, if it is determined to be free, that it can ever be enslaved. But if the will of God be otherwise, we shall have the grim consolation of seeing our oppressors overwhelmed in the common ruin. With the downfall of slave labor, comes the downfall of their own commerce and manufactures as surely as darkness follows the setting of the sun. If it be not our land, it will be a howling wilderness.
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